For the first time in 50 years, the Canada-Wide Science Fair, the highest level of competition for high school science projects, is being held in Montreal. The 500 contestants who compete in the event qualify at more than 100 regional science fairs and converge once a year to vie for top honours, which include nearly $1 million in awards, prizes and more than 340 scholarships to universities across the country.
The competition will be held at McGill University and is split into three categories: junior for grades 7 and 8, intermediate for grades 9 and 10, and senior for grades 11 and 12 and CEGEP students from Quebec. One winner is chosen in each category and the big winner is chosen out of the three finalists.
The experiments are described as being “Masters level” – participants come up with research that addresses real needs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (commonly known as the STEM fields). Members of the public are welcome to check out the projects, meet with representatives from Canadian organizations involved in the STEM fields and hear from speakers including Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk. Those events are free but donations are accepted.
The Educational Alliance for Science and Technology (EAST) is also providing subsidized bussing to Quebec schools interested in having students in Grade 5 to 11 attend the event as spectators. It takes place May 18 to 20 at the Tomlinson Fieldhouse and Currie Gymnasium, both part of the McGill Sports Complex at 475 Pine Ave. For more information about the events or to sign up for school tours, visit cwsf.youthscience.ca.